Bamber Bridge have the stomach for promotion battle
Bamber Bridge boss Neil Reynolds believes his players are relishing the pressure of being one of the teams to beat in the NPL First Division North.
The men from Irongate have been in and around the top of the table since the season started.
Indeed for much of the early part of the campaign, Brig topped the table and they still remain firmly in the hunt to claim one of the two automatic promotion spots.
A run of four wins and one draw from their five previous league games means they are just four points adrift of leaders Scarbrough Athletic with one game in hand. And Reynolds – who watched his team secure an excellent 3-2 win over Ossett Town at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium – has sensed a growing belief among his players.
“We are 23 games into the season, have won 14, drawn five and lost only two,” Reynolds said.
“So it’s, ‘So far, so good’. The lads are playing with lots of confidence and they are enjoying it.
“I was speaking to our captain Matt Lawlor the other day.
“He has been at the club a long time and he has been used to going for a play-off place.
“But we are fighting for something more than that – automatic promotion.
“That’s where we are at, that’s the position we want to be in. It’s very exciting, but it also comes with big pressure.
“The crowd was pushing 350 on Saturday, which is fantastic and I think their expectations are growing.
“But we have just got to make sure that we keep our feet on the ground, keep picking up points and climbing the table.”
This weekend, Brig travel to face Droylsden for what appears to be a tricky looking fixture.
The Bloods are in seventh spot in the table and will be eyeing a play-off place as they are only four points behind sixth-placed Trafford, with five games in hand.
However, they are in a bit of a mini rut currently, having failed to pick up a single victory out of three games in 2018.
“Droylsden are doing well this season,” said Reynolds. “It’s not going to be an easy game for us.
“We want to go there and come away with something.
“Without giving away too much, in our mini-league a draw at Droylsden would be a great point – but three would be fantastic.”
Reynolds will have something of a selection headache this weekend as he has the benefit of a fully fit squad, which has been boosted by the signing of winger Lewis Nightingale from Farsley Celtic.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the division, Clitheroe travel to Ossett Town tomorrow, while Kendal Town are at home to Colne.
In the NWC Premier Division, Burscough host Ashton Athletic and Charnock Richard visit Runcorn Linnets.